27 February 2014

Win a Lindt Chocolate Gift Basket for Mother's Day

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The end of February signals one things to me, only one month till Mother's Day. The day when not only do I need to find a nice, original present for my mum but also for Simon's mum too and usually myself a little something from the boys. 

I have now got used to what everyone likes and so for my mum, it's smellies of some sort. She loves luxurious creams to pamper herself with so I am always buying her new lotions and potions. My husbands mum likes music. 60's, Motown kind of music so I am usually safe buying her a few CD's to add to her collection. And for me? Well, I like chocolate. I'm easy to buy for, a nice box of choccies and I'm happy. 

So, with all that in mind, what better way to celebrate Mother's Day than to give away a yummy chocolate hamper from Hampergifts. 

Hampergifts are an independent, family-run business that was established in 2005 creating beautiful hampers full of lovely food and drink and a host of chocolate gifts as well as mothers day gifts. Every hamper is designed from scratch by their expert team and they even create and gift-wrap every single hamper by hand.

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For your chance to win a Lindt Chocolate Gift Basket worth £49.95 from Hampergifts all you have to do to is fill in the Rafflecopter form below.

The handmade dark wicker basket contains:
Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection 145g
Lindt Lindor Assorted Cornet Truffles 200g
Lindt Lindor Dark Chocolate Thins 125g
Lindt Excellence 90% Cocoa 100g
Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Cornet Truffles 50g
Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Thins 125g
Lindt Excellence Orange Intense 100g

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends Midnight 23rd March 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

26 February 2014

Divine Chocolate Brownies

Since last week was the school holidays, we got to do a lot of baking and today I thought I would share my brownie recipe. This recipe, I think, is a simple way to make brownies and can have extra ingredients added to give extra flavours (as you will see in my post)

You will need:
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200g unsalted butter
190g dark chocolate
90g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
100g milk chocolate
3 eggs
280g sugar 

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C and line or butter a 7inch square cake tin. (I didn't have one so used 2x 4inch rectangular ones)

2.  Melt the dark chocolate and butter together. I fill a pan 1/2 way with water and then place a bowl on top with the items inside, place on a low heat to melt.  

3.  Mix the eggs and sugar together until thick and creamy. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture in and then slowly add the flour and cocoa powder. 

4.  Roughly cut up the milk chocolate and add this into the mixture last. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and place in the oven for around 30 minutes or until cooked. 

5.  Take out and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. 

And viola, you're done!

I serve them with strawberries and cream which is lovely but you can also add ingredients into the mix to make your own flavours. 

To make Chocolate and Almond Brownies, add 100g chopped or powdered almonds to the mix for either a crunchy bite or a smooth taste.

To make Chocolate Orange Brownies, add the rind of one orange to the mix. Make sure to grate it finely. 

Baking is not hard. It's all about getting your hands dirty and trying different ingredients out until you get the desired taste. Always make sure you have a good range of utensils and bakeware to use. We get ours from www.thehomewarescompany.com who have a huge range to pick from and a plethora of quality items. 

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Link up your recipe of the week

Getting Organised with Viking-Direct

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I am rubbish at organising things. Forever forgetting to do posts on the blog and always getting reminder emails from companies waiting on me writing things. I needed some way of organising things and started looking in to stationary to help. 

Viking-Direct offer a huge range of stationary supplies to get yourself organised. They are a global company, established in 1960 and now present in over 11 countries worldwide. Not only do they offer a huge range of choice, at great prices, but standard delivery a next day and they even offer same day delivery too. 

So when I got the chance to receive a haul of stationary items to help me get organised, I couldn't say yes fast enough. I received:

Ativa USB 2.0 16GB Flash Drive
This is great for storing my draft posts and photos on. Also, if I need to print blog items out, it means going to my parents to use their printer and using the flash drive will make it easier to transfer from one computer to the other. 

3 Pack of Pukka Pads Jotta Pad A5
These jotter pads are great for noting down everything I need to do. I have started using them whilst reviewing, drafting down what I want to talk about and writing things down that I need to remember. 

Office Depot Cube - Assorted Neon Sticky Notes
A range of different coloured sticky notes perfect for jotting things down quick. I regularly shop online and so now I using these sticky notes on the side of my laptop screen to remind me to use a cash-back website whilst shopping. 

4 Stabilo Boss Highlighters
I will be using these whilst writing notes to highlight the important things that I want to show off more. 
They have an excellent performance chisel tip and a high long lasting fluorescent colour.

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Office Depot A7 Pocket Pad
I currently have this is my handbag so that whilst I am out and about, I can grab it and jot down ideas. 

Office Depot Assorted Rubber Brown Bands and Office Depot Multi-Coloured Paper Clips 
The rubber bands come in a range of different sizes and thickness's. They are stronger and so can be used over and over again. 
The paper clips are perfect for keeping paper together and the different colours means that you can organise different projects separated by colour. 

Box of 20 Niceday ball point pens
In a range fo 4 different colours, these will definitely come in handy as I am always losing my pens so having a big box will mean that I always have one handy. The pack of 20 includes five black, five blue, five green and five red

Hot Chocolate bundle pack
Surely you cannot expect me to do all this work writing my blog without a little chocolatey help? This pack includes a 1kg tin of Cadbury hot chocolate and a variety 22 pack of Cadbury mini chocolates. We are already a good way in to the tin of hot chocolate and the chocolates are... hmmm... gone!

What ever stationary supplies you are looking for, Viking-Direct are sure to be able to accommodate what you need. 

24 February 2014

Win One Wish from the Balagan Collection


I have long been a follower of the Balagan brand and their range of gorgeous jewellery that not only stands out from the crowd, but is tastefully designed and comes in all different shapes and sizes. Ever since I reviewed the gorgeous Triple Heart Necklace, I have been a huge fan and try to keep up to date with the ever-growing ranges and designs. The whole collection coming to us from Rachel Parkin. 

Rachel's new collection is simply beautiful too. The One Wish Collection is a range, made from sterling silver, is designed to create optimism and to remind of that 'one wish' you have made, every time you wear it. Balagan Group's One Wish collection was the winner in the Fashion Jewellery Collection of the year category of the BTAA Awards 

The collection is delicate, pretty and captures thoughts, sentiments and emotions that are universal, creating a perfect gift or self purchase. If you haven’t yet seen the One Wish Collection it “features uplifting, cute & quirky messages on beautiful cards as well as understated designs in jewellery, created to be treasured”

The One Wish Collection has a whole range of different jewellery pieces, my favourite being the 'Mothers Hold Their Children's Hands' necklace. I love its simplicity. So beautiful and understated and would be the perfect gift for Mother's Day. 

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For your chance to win a Sterling Silver 'Mothers Hold Their Children's Hands' Balagan Necklace all you have to do to is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 16th March 2014

21 February 2014

How Much Sleep Does A Child Need?

This is always a question I have asked myself, just how much sleep do my children need? And it turns out that I am not alone, one in five parents also worry that their children are not sleeping well enough. 

As it turns out though, sleep isn't just to recharge the body ready for the next day of fun, but it actually encourages growth and body development. So it is important, very important in fact, that children should get enough sleep every night. 

This infographic, which was made by Carpetright, shows just how much sleep can affect children and what you can do to help children get a better nights sleep. 


Statistics compiled by Carpetright. View their range of children's beds.

Television is a big no, no in my eyes. Whilst cartoons are playing, my children will not sleep and so I always just them off at around 6pm so that the boys can settle down. 

Apparently, eating a snack or having a glass of warm milk can not only help to settle a child before their sleep but can also keep their tummy's full so that they will sleep better too. 

A routine is always important. We always do the same things every night. Dinner, play and television, bath, pyjamas, snack with story and then bedtime. I found that this suited us all perfectly so always try to find the right routine for your family and stick to it. 

Just make sure that you stick to your guns with a routine, no television after a certain time and no heavy meals which will unsettle their little tummies. As long as your children are getting the recommended amount of sleep then they should be fine.

20 February 2014

Where do Broken Hearts Go?

Have you ever suffered a broken heart? If so, you certainly aren't the only one. Now the novelty of Valentine's Day is over, a heart will be broken every 17 minutes.

Did you know for instance, the brain processes relationship break-ups similar to the way it does physical pain and that 1 in 6 people will get skin breakouts due to the stress of a break up. 

Research in the infographic below, which is by Benenden Health, shows that a broken heart can cause as much damage to your health as smoking for 2.5 years.

Where do broken hearts go? infographic
Where do broken hearts go Infographic by benenden health


Stress Cardiomyopathy, otherwise known as Broken Heart Syndrome, actually similar symptoms to a heart attack and apparently, 2% of diagnosed heart attacks are in fact 'broken hearts'. Shocking isn't it? The fact that 2 things can be so similar yet so different too. 

But, what is the best way to get over a broken heart? Well, according to this study, exercise is. Because, whilst you are exercising, your brain releases endorphins, which make you happy and can help towards mending your broken heart. For me though, I don't think I'd be able to exercise if I was heart broken and would probably try some other coping mechanisms.The top 5 for us Brits are apparently drinking, eating, talking to friends and family, and then there's doing nothing at all.

Is a broken heart really as bad as it sounds though? Do they really affect us physically and mentally? I really don't know for sure but it is safe to say that the heart is a really complex emotion. 

- Featured Post

18 February 2014

Pancake Day OXO Challenge

I can't believe how quick this year is going. In only a few week, it will be pancake day and so we have been practising our favourite recipe and toppings. 

I have always used the same pancake recipe that my mum gave me:
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  • 250g plain flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 500ml milk

You basically mix it all together in a bowl until the batter is smooth. Add a small dollop of butter to a hot frying pan and pour in a little of the batter mix so it coats the base of the pan and then cook for a few minutes, flipping half way through. 

That's the basic and easiest way of making pancakes, the hardest bit is flipping them. MY husband can flip pancakes very easily but I cannot so I stuck to using the OXO Good Grips Flip & Fold Omelette Turner which slides easily down the side of the pancake  under the entire pancake making it simple to flip over. 

After the pancakes are all cooked, it's then basically a chance to get creative. We try loads of different things on the top of our pancakes, from the original sugar and lemon to yummy chocolate sauce and nuts. 

Today, we decided to have strawberries and cream on them. Thomas' friend came round for dinner and all three of them gave the pancakes a big thumbs up!

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17 February 2014

Little Tikes at Asda

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Every time we pop into Asda, the boys always try and bag themselves a toy. There is always such a huge range and now, it just got bigger. The Little Tikes new range has launched exclusively in Asda with over 100 new toys available and 50 of them for under £10 each. 

From cash registers, steering wheels and toy laptops, there is something suitable for every preschool child and what's more, the whole range is available in store and online.

We were sent out 2 items from the Little Tikes new range, the Little Tikes Light n Sound Rings and the Little Tikes Play Food Shopper and Charlie took no time at all getting to grips with them. 

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The Light n Sound Rings are great for young ones. Not only are they stackable but they make funky sounds and light up too. 
Charlie has enjoyed playing with these, stacking them up, trying to get them in the right order and giggling along to the sounds that play. The lights are great to try and keep the child interested and I'm sure that these will have hours of fun through the weeks. 


The Play Food Shopper features a shopping basket with assorted plastic food items and some cardboard boxed items too.

It fits perfectly with the boys market stall and has a varied mixture of shopping essentials. From fruit, veg, milk right up to tomato sauce and cereals. There is even a cheeky box of coffee too. Now you can go shopping in the comfort of your own home and not have to worry about this pesky weather.

Both boys love playing wit the basket of shopping. Going round their stall and choosing what they want and the pretending to eat everything afterwards. it really is fun to pretend to be just like mum!

Now the boys can't wait to go back to Asda and see what other goodies they have to offer!

16 February 2014

Jumping Up And Down In Muddy Puddles

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This was actually a post that was supposed to go live a few weeks back but for some reason (which I only just realised) it was still in my drafts folder and wasn't published. So for that reason, I have updated it a little.

The wet weather can be horrible sometimes. We have all probably seen all over the news about the floods down south. The destruction it cause when it's at its peak is so immense, you wouldn't think that so much bad can happen from water. 

We seem to have been lucky, with only getting small amounts of rain and wind. Yes, it is very bad when it comes, but it never lasts long so we have had no flooding. So, at the moment, we are trying to make the most of this weather as you never know when the worst of it could hit us. 

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We have been outside in the rain, playing. Wrapped up warm in jumpers, coats, hats and wellies, it has been nice for the boys to get outside for a bit whilst the wind calmed down.

I'm sure that we all know how hard parenting is. Trying to keep our children clean and tidy. But you know, sometimes, it's nice for them to just get mucky, messy, muddy and wet. Why not, they will only be young once.

So out we went to jump in puddles...

Splashing, running, jumping and falling, the boys were absolutely soaked afterwards, but they had fun and that's all that matters.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A Photo A Day Project: Week 7

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We started off the week by bringing the boys garage out of their bedroom and downstairs so they could play with it more often. As usual, Charlie assumed that it was a climbing frame and was straight on top of it. 

Even though it's wet outside, the boys enjoyed playing outside and having some fresh air. Thomas loves his new Micro Scooter. 

Always playing together, the boys are always pushing each other around in their wagon.

I have been trying to get a photo of the boys together. This usually ends with one sticking their tongue out and the other pulling faces. At last though, I managed to get a nice photo. 

Thomas has always been close to his friend Macey and this week asked if he could make her a Valentine's card. I helped his make one and we gave it to her. He then received this one back... How sweet!

Valentine's Day today saw my husband eventually get the present that I have been hiding away from him. Tickets to see the darts at First Direct Arena. I know, it's not very romantic but it has something that he has been wanting to go to for ages now.  

Thomas invited his friend, Macey around today to have a play day. They love playing together and it's nice to see Thomas playing with someone his age for a change. 

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Buying An Indesit IDVA735 Tumble Dryer After Another Appliance Bites The Dust!

Yorkshire Blog, Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Tumble Dryer, Drying, Clothing, Vented, Indesit, Argos, Review, As always, we have planned to do things, places to go, things to buy, gifts to sort out, and then something breaks. I'm sure that fate waits for us to just get our finances sorted and then kicks us back down. 
So this week we had to get a new tumble dryer as ours went kaput. 

We set a list of everything we would need, the size of the drum, timer, price etc and then started our search. I wanted to make sure that we were prepared before looking so we would not be disappointed with what we could afford. 

I knew that I wanted a vented tumble dryer. This is the one most important thing you will need to know before buying one. There are 2 types, a vented and a condenser. A condenser works by removing moist air from the drum and collecting it into a container inside the dryer itself which can be emptied regularly. A vented tumble dryer works by sending the moist air through a hose at the back of the machine and out of an external wall. You will need either an open window to put the hose through or some where to place it so that the air can get outside. We have a fitted vent hole in our wall which is why we picked vented, that and the fact that vented tumble dryers use less energy and are cheaper to run. 

After a while of searching, researching and checking reviews, I went for the Indesit IDVA735 Tumble Dryer. It was an online exclusive and was on sale too, I do love a good bargain! 
After trying to find a tumble dryer with a big drum (our washing machine holds 12kg) we eventually settle on this one as it was in our budget range and had the biggest drum of the options. 

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This Indesit tumble dryer also seemed to have more functions available on it too. A sensor to stop it working once the clothes inside are dry, up to a 24 hours delayed start and a anti-crease option all sold it to me. 

Inside, it looked huge as it can fit in 7kg so that is a lot of drying in one go, a lot bigger than our old one. It has a fluff filter which catches all the excess lint coming from clothing. This is located just under the door and can easily be removed for cleaning. It also has a filter full indicator which comes on when the filter is full and also every time the machine is switched on. The dryer will work quicker if this is emptied so it's always best to check before each use. 

The electronic controls are super easy to follow. You can choose different time settings to suit what you are drying, from a 10 minute cool refresh right up to a full 3 hours of drying time. There are then also other varying settings, high heat, anti-crease and timer delay. 

I think the only one negative I would give it so far, is that even though you can set it to a different times, once started there is no indicator of how far it is through the cycle. It's not really a big problem for us but can get annoying when we are wanting to go out and waiting for the tumble dryer to finish. On the plus side though, it is a very quite machine, probably the quietest I have heard. 

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A tumble dryer is a must have for quickly drying our families clothing and there are many different ones to choose from based on the spec you need and your budget. 
Always search for the one that suits you and your needs best. There are some great deals to be had on tumble dryers, check them out here at Argos. 

15 February 2014

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2‏ Giveaway

It was only last week when myself and the boys sat down to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and see just how much fun it was to have food falling from the sky. It all changed though when the machine Flint Lockwood had invented overpowered and created mutated food. At the end of the film, he thought he had saved the world when he destroyed his most famous invention – a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes.

Then comes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 where his life is turned upside down once again. Flint learns that his invention had in fact survived and is now combining food and animals to create “foodimals!” Flint and his friends embark on a mouth-watering mission to battle hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, hippotatomuses, cheesespiders and other foodimals to save the world once again. 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is out on Blu-ray and DVD 17th Feb and I cannot wait to see it and see where it goes since the first one ended. 

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To mark this fun filled DVD being released, I have been given the chance to host a giveaway for 3 of my readers to win Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2‏ on DVD. To enter to win a copy of the DVD, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to UK entrants only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 6th March

Klorane Nettle Shampoo from Escentual

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Escentual sent me some Klorane Nettle shampoo to review and in the package came some cleansers and samples too.

Klorane Nettle Shampoo is suitable for Oily Hair. It gives your hair a detox and is deeply cleansing to stop oiliness. It is very gentle shampoo that works by trying to regularise the amount of oil that your scalp produces and also stops the oil down in spreading through the hair length. 

This Klorane shampoo contains scopoletine, an extract from nettle, which restores balance to the scalp. It is hypoallergenic and extremely mild on the scalp.  

I suffer with very oily hair, to the point where I need to wash it daily otherwise it looks horrible and greasy. That is why I wanted to give the Klorane Nettle Shampoo a try. I applied it, as I do regular shampoo, to wet hair, massaged it in, and then rinsed it away thoroughly. I found that it didn't go very foamy but did feel as though it was cleaning my hair and scalp. I followed it with my usual conditioner and then dried it afterwards. 

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I noticed that the Nettle Shampoo enhanced the volume of my hair, making it poof out a little more than usual. It felt soft, bouncy and nice. 

At first, I didn't notice much difference. My hair was still fairly oily at the end of the day and I assumed that maybe, this product wasn't compatible with me. But then it changed. After constantly using it for a week or so, I noticed that my hair wasn't getting oily so fast. I think that it takes a bit of sustained use for the shampoo to kick in fully and then the oil secretion is regularised, enabling you to wash your hair less frequently.

Yes, it is green and it doesn't particularly smell that great, but it works and once rinsed off, the scent goes away any way so I don't mind. 

I also received 2 cleansers in my package. Avene Cream Cleanser and Bioderma. I have heard so much about Bioderma that I couldn't wait to give it a try but it was, in fact, the Avene Cream Cleanser which I preferred. It just made my skin feel so soft after use and I am now glad that I got to try it out.

You can buy the Klorane Nettle Shampoo and the other items on the Escentual website.

14 February 2014

Lonely, Lonely Valentine's Day

All I have seen for the past week or so, is people stating how they are spending their Valentine's Day. Going for a romantic meal, surprising their hubbies and even breaks away and I couldn't help but being a tad jealous. My husband is working today, has been all day, and so there is no romantic day for us. 

I have been preparing a surprise for my husband for a while now though as I knew that we wouldn't be able to celebrate together. 

It might not be very romantic, but I know that it is something that he has been wanting to go to for ages now. I have recently bought him tickets to see the darts so that he can go and have a night out with his friend. Deciding to use this as my Valentine's Day present, I was glad to get this sorted a while back so there was no worrying and buying last minute gifts.

This wasn't the case for my husband though. He does everything last minute, and after our boiler broke last week, I knew that a present for myself would be off the cards. It's not all bad though, tonight whilst my hubby is working, I will be writing my blog, surfing the Social Media channels and maybe playing a little online bingo. Well, I've got to get my kicks from some where and you never know, if I do win big I may be able to afford more pressies in the future. 

You can connect to Butlers Bingo, if you're on Twitter, and find out who your #Tweetheart is. Who is the person you interact most with over there? I am thinking that mine may probably be another blogger as I rarely tweet my own husband. 

Me, I'm not too bothered that my husband and myself wont be celebrating tonight. I don't need a certain day to let him know how much he means to me and if I did, It would be our wedding anniversary.

- In collaboration with Butlers Bingo

The Best ways to Hang Your Favourite Photos


If you’re looking for ways to display your favourite, beautiful photos look no further. We’ve scoured the web, checking out all of the best design and craft websites to find the latest trends to showcase our pictures, which is great if your mantelpiece is heaving under the weight of millions of frames.
Think outside the box with us as we explore wall art trends, photography tips and even things you can do with your snaps to transform them into great photo gifts.

Photo canvases
Transforming your photograph and mounting it onto a canvas is the easiest way to embrace the modern trend of updating your photo display techniques. You can blow one photo up really big and have little ones around the edge for an even trendier look that will instantly grab attention. They’re a great, dramatic piece so keep photos simple and classic to suit the theme.


Washing line photo display
This is a great option for bedrooms and smaller spaces as it looks really dainty and sweet. Display your favourite prints (we love the look when using Polaroid snaps) on a ‘photo washing line’ for a really fresh and cute look. We bet a little girl would absolutely love this look too, and that it would look really lovely in a nursery.

Photo collage
Why not get a huge photo frame and stick a mini version in it of each of your favourite pictures? This creates a great, unique photo collage look that will feel really modern and bang up-to-date. Keep other wall art on the same wall to a minimum to avoid the space looking cluttered and fussy. If you don’t value your crafty skills enough, you could always just buy a really big frame that allows you to put multiple photos in to make it easier.

Photo corner
If you have a little space in your home that you’d like to get more use out of in terms of interior design value, such as where the phone is, for example, transform the little corner into a photo corner. Use contrasting colours or the odd colour pop frame to add more interest and to grab attention, along with a mix of styles and designs of frames.


Photo booth wall
Photo booth snaps are amazing. They’re classic yet can also be used with a modern twist to transform into a really interesting piece of wall art. You could even get a photo booth picture made of each member of the family and display them going along the wall to introduce your guests to your wonderful (and wild) family.

Clashing coloured photos against a statement wall
If you use a lot of colour in your home, you can take advantage of this by displaying black and white photos on a particularly statement coloured wall. This pays homage to both the traditional and contemporary elements of design and will no doubt be the ideal talking point of any room. Turn your favourite photos black and white or even use vintage photos or newspaper clippings.

Olly M Jewellery Friendship Bracelet Giveaway

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Now that Valentines Day is coming to an end, the next big event in the calendar year is Mother's Day and this is a biggie. Mother's Day is a celebration to honour mothers, motherhood in general and the influence of mothers in society. 
This year it falls on Sunday, March 30th and I will be trying my hardest to bring you the best gift ideas for your mum, wife or girlfriend and today kicks off my Mother's Day Feature with Olly M Jewellery. 

Olly M Jewellery was started by Michelle Misra after she fell in love with beads and semi-precious stones after a holiday to India and even now, Michelle still designs and hand-makes every piece herself, here in the UK.

Featured in magazines such as VOGUE, GQ and Marie Claire, the jewellery range is going from strength to strength. The range of personalised friendship bracelets and necklaces is loved by celebrities such as Millie Mackintosh of Made in Chelsea and super-model Sophie Anderton. 

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I love the range of items that is available on the Olly M Jewellery website. The fantastic friendship bracelets are such a huge statement and I personally think that these would be a fantastic gift for any mum or mum-to-be this Mother's Day.

The beautiful coloured stone in the necklaces are beautiful and you can also choose earring to match any occasion. I love the friendship bracelets though. Different colours to suit every style and can also come in gold and silver for a more formal look.

Olly M Jewellery are treating my readers by giving one of you the chance to win a Sterling Silver Friendship Bracelet with up to 2 initials on it. Made up of 4mm sterling silver rondelles with a grey waxed-cotton drawstring cord, it is from their Signature Collection and is priced at £45 including 1 initial (extra initials are available at £15 each) so this prize is worth up to £60.  

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For your chance to win a Sterling Silver Friendship Bracelet with up to 2 initials all you have to do to is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends Midnight 13th March 2014

13 February 2014

Hotter Shoes New Collection Giveaway

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Mabel Shoes

As all my readers will know by now, I love shoes but have a problem with them. The pretty ones are uncomfortable, and the comfy ones are old fashioned. When I cam across Hotter Shoes, it was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a company who makes shoes that have the ultimate comfort-factor but are totally in style too. 

Last year, I reviewed their Octavia Shoes (you can read the review here) and loved that, after 50 years of making shoes, Hotter are still keeping with the times and creating styles that suit the ever changing trends nowadays. 

The Hotter Shoes new collection has just been released and is packed full of choice. From the floral delights of the Mabel shoes, to the nautical theme from the Kate shoes. Style that would be perfect for work, formal occasions, outdoor wear and for fun-filled nights out, the new collection really does have a huge choice. 

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          Kate Shoes                                                                                      Sorbet Shoes

Hotter Shoes have once again given me the lovely job of giving a pair of their shoes away here on my blog. The winner will get to choose any pair from the new seasons collection in the size and colour of their choice (subject to stock).

Me, I would pick the Honesty sandals in light taupe. I love that the straps can be altered to allow you to adjust the fit to suit. Their heel is just the perfect size to give a bit of height and leg definition, but not too high to be uncomfortable over time. I also like that they have underfoot cushioning to give that extra step of comfort that we all know and love from Hotter Shoes.

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Honesty Sandals

Alas, it is not up to me though, which pair would you choose? Don't worry if you don't win or cannot wait for the competition to end though, as hotter Shoes have also given me a code which will give you 10% off and free delivery. Use code PKATEN for 10% off plus FREE delivery, this is for first orders only. You are entitled to 10% off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products) plus FREE delivery. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers.

For a chance to win a pair of Hotter Shoes in your choice of style, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to UK entrants only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 28th February

12 February 2014

#WednesdayWords - Scooby Doo

Sometimes, I read something and I think to myself that some people are just plain nasty. Things that happen in the world these days are down right disgusting and it's usually come at the hands of another person who doesn't seem to comprehend or care about the pain they are causing. 

People blame each other, blame the system, blame the government but no, we can never blame the culprit. They had a 'bad upbringing'. They have 'problems'. They can't be held responsible for the things they have done yet someone else is suffering because of it. Is it just me that thinks our system is ridiculous?

My Wednesday Words quote this week is:

'If Scooby Doo taught us one thing in life,                
it's that the real monsters are humans'
- Author Unknown

Wednesday Words

11 February 2014

Quirky Valentines Items at Asda

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I am a hopeless romantic. Every year, surprising my husband with something or other. I love the little things though like baking yummy treats and making his favourite food. This year, my husband will be working an early shift on Valentines Day so I thought I would surprise him when he gets home with a nice fry up and some homemade biscuits.  

Asda are helping me in getting prepared for this by supplying me with a couple of items from their Valentines range. 

First up is the Sweetheart Egg Shaper.
This is priced at just £1 and is a rubber heart which goes into the frying pan and an egg is cracked open inside it. The egg then fries in the heart shape and the shaper can easily be removed once cooked. 
I love this item as it gives that subtle heart on a Valentines surprise breakfast. 

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Secondly is the Sweetheart Cookie Cutters.
Realisically, the same premise as the egg shaper. They are heart shaped and once pressed into the cookie dough, give cute heart shaped biscuits. Coming in 4 different sizes to suit what we are making, I imagine these getting used a lot in the future when we are baking. 

The Love hearts Tea Lights are super cute and smell divine. They are a pack of 6 tea lights, each with their own romantic message on the top and each colour having a different lovely scent. 
These will definitely be getting used on Valentines Day to give that subtle lighting and make it even more romantic.

Don't worry, I will be sharing photos of these items in use over the coming days but at the moment have no eggs to fry or bake with and wanted to get this post up as soon as possible so you lovely lot could see the items before Valentine's Day.

These items and many, many more Valentines Day themed items are available instore and on the Asda website too. 

9 February 2014

A Photo A Day Project: Week 6

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We have had a fun time this week. With the weather cheering up, we have managed to get outside and play for a bit. The boys love playing together and inside even enjoyed rolling around the floor and doing tipple-overs. 

I don't know why I try to take nice photos of the boys any more. I am wanting to get a huge canvas for our livingroom but every time I take photos of the boys, they stick their tongues out. 

I popped in to Leeds City Centre today to buy some bits. I love the new Trinity Centre and find that I can buy most things from there. I also liked the fact that the new Primark in there isn't at all busy. 

My sister-in-law came down today with her newborn little daughter, Laurel. It was so nice to get to cuddle a little baby and eventually have a little girl in the family. Everyone before seems to have had boys over the past few years. 

Forever climbing. This tree is near the local shop to us and every time we go past it, Thomas just has to try and climb it. 

I have now learnt that if I need to go out of the room, to put my laptop onto the dining room table so Charlie can't reach it. Today though, he decided to go one further and climb onto the table to play with it. When I came back, I found him stuck on the table not able to get down. 

The electric police car is in fact Charlie's but currently, he can't quite figure out how to press the foot-pedal to go and so instead opts for pushing Thomas around on it.  

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Valentines Ideas at Aldi

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I always try to surprise my husband with gifts on Valentines Day and this year, Aldi have stocked a range of gifts suitable for everyone. 

Me and my husband have different tastes when it comes to DVD's. He like army, action, etc and whilst I don't mind watching those sorts of films, I much prefer rom-coms. 

We are in luck at Aldi as they have a huge range of DVD's, many of which we will be watching over the course of this week. 

They sent us a range of DVD's and I can't wait to get watching them. From rom-coms to period romantic films. 
Kids triple disk sets to action and adventure and the usual thuggish English films. It will be nice to sit down as a couple and watch some of these and even get to enjoy the family pack with the boys. 

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Aldi also have some nice gifts in too and sent me this gorgeous scarf which has little metallic hearts over it. Made from lightweight material, it is sure to stand out this Valentines Day. 

Whatever sorts of DVD's you prefer, I am sure Aldi has something for everyone this Valentines Day and it's even better that you can shop for gifts whilst doing your weekly shop. No excuse fr men to forget this year!

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The Aldi Valentines Day Special Buys are in store now.



Pourty Flexi-Fit Toilet Trainer and Up Step

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Pourty was the brain child of Jon Rathbone, the inventor of the Pourty potty and the subsequent range of toilet training items. After realising that potties were messing to empty after they had been used, he got to work trying to figure out a better way to make them so that they are easier to use and that's how Pourty was born. 

The Pourty Potty has a unique pouring duct and anti-drip lip so you can pour all waste matter away with no messy dribbles. I love the idea of this, but for Charlie, he decided that he doesn't want to use a potty, opting instead for the toilet, so he could be like his big brother. It was a nice surprise to see that Pourty had catered for the toilet users too bringing our the Flexi-Fit toilet seat and the Up Step. 

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As most adult seats can vary in size the Flexi-Fit seat alters to be able to fit most toilet seats. 
We have gone through a few training seats before but, with them not being able to alter, found that they would wobble whilst Thomas was sat on them which was off-putting for him. The Flexi-Fit seat wont do this as it has unique prongs underneath it so that it fits securely and doesn't wobble. They are easily adjusted to fit most toilet seats. 
The splash guard at the front means that there is no weeing over the toilet seat which is a great part for boys as I don't know how many time I have had to clean the floor after one of them has been to the toilet. 

The Up Step is a great idea, in my opinion. It is a step used so that children who are toilet training, can easily get onto the toilet themselves. The Up Step is higher than other steps stools thought meaning that, when on the toilet, the child's feet are supported instead of dangling and it helps them to go to the toilet.
It is very strong, even I can stand on it safely and is lightweight also thus meaning that both boys can easily manoeuvre it from the toilet to the sink for washing their hands afterwards.  

Overall, I love both the Flexi-Fit seat and the Up Step and so far, Charlie seems to be taking a liking to them, wanting to get up onto the toilet using them and sitting there giggling at me. I still think that it is a little too early for him to fully grasp the idea but at the moment, it is great for him to be learning and getting used to the seat and step.

You can find out more information on the Pourty website where you can buy the items. They are both also available on Amazon too. 

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Valentines at Treat Republic

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At Treat Republic, they love personalised gifts believing that a personalised gift is something truly extraordinary. It's own story, meaning and a work of art. Personalised gifts are there for years to keep the stories, that are behind them, alive. stories that sit behind them. Whether your gift conveys a loving sentiment or a heart-felt thank you, Treat Republic will help you to find the perfect item to gift. 

Previously known as TreatHer.com, TreatHim.com and TreatBaby.com, Treat Republic brings all of these websites together to create a new place to find handpicked collections and an inspired range of gifts. 

They are perfect for Valentines Day as there website has a huge range of loving gifts and personalised items suitable for a romantic gesture. I decided to pick items that I would gift my husband, just to show him that I loved him.

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The first item I picked was the 'Have I Told you Lately' mug. 

I went for this as I thought that it had a quirky design and I love the song too. I knew that whenever my husband had a cuppa, he would see the words and know that I bought it for him and that those words emblazoned on the mug, were for him and him alone. 

A big cup of hot chocolate in this mug is like a huge cuddle in a mug and priced at £9.99, it is a perfect, simple gift for Valentines Day.

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Secondly, I decided to pick something that would mean a lot to both of us. The means that we have something that no one else has and that fits together. The 'You Complete Me' keyrings were perfect for this. 

Coming as a pair, each piece fit perfectly together and completes each other. Personalised with my husbands name on one and my nickname of 'Kay' on the other, I love the symbolic meaning to these and that, whenever I look at my keys, I know that the missing piece is out there somewhere and as long as we meet up again, our puzzle is complete. 

The 'You Complete Me' keyrings are priced at £14.99 and come personalised with the names of your choice. 

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You can find of these gifts and much, much more on the Treat Republic website.